Monday, September 29, 2008

Not Time to Affix Blame

So let me get this straight. The reason the stock market crashed today is that the Republicans in the House were so immature that a little grudge about something mean that Nancy Pelosi said was more important to them than saving our financial system. Shame on you, Speaker Pelosi!

20 Comments:

Blogger JTapp said...

No, it was because 40% of Democrats didn't want to vote for it either.

Or because we had a classic example of collusion where everyone agreed to do one thing and then had an incentive to cheat.

Mon Sep 29, 08:58:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saving our financial system! What a joke. This bill would have rewarded million dollar fat cats who took big risks and lost. This credit crisis reminds me of all the lies were told about WMDs before the gulf war. Don't be fooled by the administration again. There is no credit crisis! Bank credit and bank loans at historics highs. Check the god damn numbers for yourself.

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/TOTBKCR?cid=49

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/BUSLOANS?cid=49

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/CONSUMER?cid=49

Mon Sep 29, 09:58:00 PM EDT  
Blogger knzn said...

No, it was because 40% of Democrats didn't want to vote for it either.

Or because we had a classic example of collusion where everyone agreed to do one thing and then had an incentive to cheat.


The Democrats did deliver more votes than they promised. The Republicans' explanation for why they didn't is that Nancy Pelosi pissed them off by making a "partisan" speech in which she referred to "the Bush Administration's failed economic policies." (In a year when most Republicans have been trying very hard to distance themselves from President Bush, they suddenly feel protective of his reputation?) If you take that explanation seriously and think about it for more than a few seconds, it makes the Republicans look even worse than the Democrats.

Your explanation makes a lot more sense. I don't think you'll find many congresspersons from either party giving that explanation, though, because it would require them to admit that their co-partisans were motivated by political convenience. It's not clear to me that political convenience is a less noble motivation than petulance, but I guess it's a little harder to spin.

Mon Sep 29, 10:19:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Brock said...

What I want to know is why Pelosi, Hoyer, and Clyburn couldn't whip up 12 more Democratic votes for a bill this important.

I can't really get too worked up over House Republicans being a bunch of idiots. I take it as a given.

But the House Democratic leadership failed spectacularly today.

Mon Sep 29, 10:21:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

knzn,

"In a year when most Republicans have been trying very hard to distance themselves from President Bush, they suddenly feel protective of his reputation."

Hey dumb dumb! Republicans (mostly) voted against President Bush.

Mon Sep 29, 10:31:00 PM EDT  
Blogger knzn said...

And apparently they voted against him because they were so hurt by the mean things Ms. Pelosi said about him. (She didn't say anything negative about the House Republicans.) I know that explanation doesn't make sense, but don't blame me: it's not my explanation.

Mon Sep 29, 11:20:00 PM EDT  
Blogger knzn said...

There is no credit crisis! Bank credit and bank loans at historics highs. Check the god damn numbers for yourself.

I'm not sure why you think those statistics support your case. Total credit and business loans have been flat since March. The flattening out of total credit is pretty dramatic: it goes almost straight up for 35 years, and then it suddenly flattens out. Consumer loans have been rising, of course, because nobody can get a home equity loan, so they're borrowing on credit cards.

Mon Sep 29, 11:33:00 PM EDT  
Blogger knzn said...

What I want to know is why Pelosi, Hoyer, and Clyburn couldn't whip up 12 more Democratic votes for a bill this important....the House Democratic leadership failed spectacularly today.

They said they'd get 110 votes, and they got 140. And Pelosi even pulled the sleazy trick of keeping the voting open while trying to convince the nays to change their minds. I don't know what more you could ask for. Considering that the bill, even if it passed, might not be as effective as hoped, I don't blame the Democrats for wanting to keep a strong majority in the House. There is an 83% chance that the next president will be a Democrat, and under the circumstances, it's desirable to minimize gridlock. (The Senate is a problem, though.)

Tue Sep 30, 12:17:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Brock said...

I don't blame the Democrats for wanting to keep a strong majority in the House.

That strong majority and Democratic president isn't going to mean much if unemployment hits 10%.

Shortsighted Americans will blame the party in power. Look for Republicans to control the House in 2010.

Better for the party to lose a few seats now than to sink Obama's first term with an economic disaster.

Tue Sep 30, 08:56:00 AM EDT  
Blogger knzn said...

Shortsighted Americans will blame the party in power.

Reagan's first term included the deepest recession since the 1930s, from which the US was still early in the recovery. He was reelected in the biggest landslide since LBJ-Goldwater.

Look for Republicans to control the House in 2010.

Doubtful. It would be a huge shift. But in any case, the crisis likely will have passed, and we will be able to afford more gridlock.

Tue Sep 30, 09:48:00 AM EDT  
Blogger knzn said...

In any case, it was Mutually Assured Destruction. When Russia launches an all out nuclear attack against the US, the right thing to do is to launch one back, even though it can only do tremendous harm. If the Republicans fail to hold up their end of the bargain, the right thing for a Democrat late in the roll call to do is to say nay, which will also do tremendous harm, but at least has the advantage of giving the Democrats the valuable reputation for being willing to call someone's bluff.

Tue Sep 30, 10:01:00 AM EDT  
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